PIERRE, SD – Merrill Bernard Gregg, 79, of Pierre, died January 26, 2019, after a four year battle with ALS.
Merrill was born January 16, 1940, in Pierre, South Dakota, to Laverne (Sam) and Edna (Cowan) Gregg. He was the fifth of eight children. Merrill spent most of his youth in the pocket area south of Harrold, SD. He often shared stories of growing up along the banks of the old Missouri River and the cottonwood forests that bordered it. Work started at an early age for dad and his siblings but it was always tempered with fun with a huge extended family. After graduating from Harrold High School, he attended one year at Arizona State University, on a rodeo scholarship riding saddle broncs. In 1964 he was drafted into the Army stationed at Ft. Carson Colorado and was honorably discharged as a chemical Staff Specialist in 1966.
After a short courtship, Merrill was united in marriage with Patricia Schmitz on June 29, 1964, in Highmore, SD. To this union three sons were born: Scott, Clark and Eric. The family made their home in Pierre, SD.
Merrill and his brother-in-law Jerald Thorn, started Oahe Moving & Construction the company specialized moving all sizes of buildings, constructing grain bins and Butler buildings, poured concrete foundations/basements upon which to place buildings and eventually branched out to farming. One of the more interesting projects included when they moved a house across the ice on the Cheyenne River in the later 60’s, moving barges from Pierre to Yankton and moving the historic Wegner House in Pierre. Merrill ran the business on his own from 1993-2009, after his partner Jerald passed away. Merrill was a small business owner for 50 years, a definite accomplishment.
Most important to Merrill was spending time with family and friends. He was a passionate golfer and enjoyed spending his summer days with a group kindly known as the Ft. Pierre Mafia. He was a member of the Duffers Golfing League for many years, and participated in many golf tournaments over the years.
Merrill was grateful for having shared his life are his wife Patricia and their sons: Scott (Laurie) and Eric (Lori) all of Pierre, and daughter-in-law, Suzy Gregg of Gardner, KS. Merrill and Pat were blessed to have four grandchildren: Mitchell, Nicholas, Lexi and Nathan. He enjoyed spending time with his brothers and sisters: Richard (Connie) of Springfield, VA, and Kenneth (Marge) Gregg of Rapid City, SD, Corinne (Keith) Aasby of Highmore, SD, and Betty (Marty) Wortman of Highmore, SD. Merrill was thankful for his friendships and appreciated all who stopped by to visit or remembered he and Pat in some way in recent years.
Merrill was preceded in death by his parents, son Clark, infant grandson Matthew, as well as his older sisters Kathleen Smith and Patricia Thorn.
Merrill’s life will be celebrated with visitation 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Friday, February 1 at Isburg Funeral Chapel followed by a prayer service at 7:00pm. Funeral services will be at 10:00am, Saturday, February 2, at St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church with burial at Riverside Cemetery in Pierre.
Arrangements have been placed in the care of Isburg Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at www.isburgfuneralchapels.com